49ers camp report (817): Two-way rookies

August 18, 2011, 12:46 am
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Aug. 17, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Practice No. 14
Summary: The 49ers added a veteran quarterback to the mix, as Josh McCown worked out in the morning, signed a one-year contract and appeared on the practice field wearing No. 9. McCown took a dozen practice snaps with the second-team offensive line. Safety Dashon Goldson greeted McCown with an interception on a pass intended for tight end Nate Lawrie.

The 49ers had problems with five center-quarterback exchanges during the day. Two of the fumbled exchanges involved McCown and center Tony Wragge. Presumptive starter Alex Smith was at quarterback for the other three poor exchanges. He and Jonathan Goodwin had two fumbles on snaps, while Adam Snyder delivered a low shotgun snap to him on another occasion.

The 49ers worked on the down-field passing game, as each of the quarterbacks had success with deep post routes. Undrafted rookie McLeod Bethel-Thompson beat the 49ers' first-team coverage of Tarell Brown with a well-thrown deep ball to receiver Tyler Beiler.

NEWS: 49ers sign third-string QB McCown from UFL
Multiple positions: Draft picks Colin Jones and Bruce Miller saw their first on the other side of the ball during practice Wednesday. Jones was drafted as a safety and special-teams ace. But at practice, he lined up at wide receiver after seeing very few reps over the first three weeks at safety. "I'm just helping them out," Jones said. Jones was the intended receiver on several pass plays, had a couple passes in his hands but failed to make the catches. Miller, a defensive end and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year at Central Florida, saw some work with the scout team defense at outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said versatility is an important quality when it comes to deciding which players will remain on the final 53-man roster. "The next step is to see if he has the ability to help us out," Fangio said. "It's much too early to say."Offensive Play of the day: The first-team offense got the 11-on-11 portion of practice going on a good note when Smith hit Ted Ginn for a 50-yard pass against the coverage of scout-team cornerback Phillip Davis.Defensive Play of the day: Cornerback Phillip Adams continues to show nice progress from the broken ankle he sustained at the end of last season. He intercepted Colin Kaepernick on a pass intended for Kyle Williams.Injury report: CB Carlos Rogers, CB Shawntae Spencer (left hamstring), FS Reggie Smith (right knee) and WR Chris Hogan (left ankle) did not practice. . . . WR Michael Crabtree (left foot) and WR Dominique Zeigler (left knee) are on physically-unable-to-perform list. . . . TE Nate Byham (torn left ACL) is out for the season. WR Dontavia Bogan (torn right ACL) and CB Curtis Holcomb (ruptured left Achilles tendon) have been placed on injured reserve.

Arm strength: Kaepernick produced one of the best throws of camp when he unleashed a 30-yard pass to tight end Vernon Davis that was on a straight line. The pass hit Davis in stride against the coverage of cornerback Corey Nelms.Personnel report: McCown is the newest addition to the team, and will compete for the job as the No. 3 quarterback. He was in the NFL for eight seasons, including the first four with the Arizona Cardinals. He started 22 games with the Cardinals, including 13 in 2004. He also played for Detroit, the Raiders and Carolina. McCown completed 57.7 percent of his 1,058 NFL passing attempts with 35 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. His career passer rating is 71.3. In 2009, his last season in the NFL, he completed just one of six attempts with the Panthers. Most recently, he played for Hartford of the UFL.Eye on reps: Snyder has played center and right guard during camp. On Wednesday, he saw action at left guard, too. When starter Mike Iupati missed some practice time while his right ankle was getting re-wrapped, Snyder stepped in with the first team at left guard. . . . Rookie Mike Person, who has worked primarily at right tackle, took some snaps at left guard.Corner the market: The 49ers' two most-experienced cornerbacks, Carlos Rogers and Shawntae Spencer, are out with injuries. So who takes over if those two players remain out for a while? "That remains to be seen," Fangio said. Tramaine Brock, who started last week in place of Spencer, has put together a good camp. Tarell Brown and rookie Chris Culliver are also seeing a lot of action in practice, too. Next practice: The 49ers are scheduled for another three-hour practice on Thursday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. The practice is scheduled to be the final workout of the summer that is open to the public.